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Minor League round up, May 5

Recapping Thursday’s action from the Giants Minor League affiliates.

Tommy La Stella throwing a baseball after fielding a grounder Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Three games for the San Francisco Giants affiliates on Thursday, as High-A Eugene had their game postponed due to weather for the fifth or sixth time this season. Maybe baseball in the Pacific Northwest isn’t the smartest idea.

On to the action...

Link to the 2022 McCovey Chronicles Community Prospect List (CPL)

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.

AAA Sacramento (14-13)

Sacramento River Cats lost to the Las Vegas Aviators (A’s) 7-5
Box score

As has been the case lately for Sacramento, the most important part of this game was the rehab assignments. LaMonte Wade Jr.’s assignment is done, as he was with the Giants yesterday, though not yet activated. But second baseman Tommy La Stella and third baseman Evan Longoria suited up for the River Cats, with each getting a hit, and La Stella even homering.

If you’ve watched the Giants play baseball this week, you’re probably excited at the idea of these dudes being back in San Francisco.

Longoria’s presence is temporarily pushing Sacramento’s best hitter to the bench, but David Villar (No. 19 CPL) capitalized on what little opportunity he had, hitting a double in his only plate appearance (which he also did on Tuesday when pushed to the bench). With a 1.045 OPS and a 162 wRC+, Villar making his MLB debut this season is becoming more of an inevitability with every single day.

The River Cats had 9 hits, 9 walks, and 9 strikeouts (sadly not 9 runs, but I guess we can’t have everything). Recent acquisition Mike Ford had 3 of those walks, which feels like a smart career move given the organization he’s now with. Second baseman Alex Blandino had 2 off the bench, in his only plate appearances. And shortstop Arquímedes Gamboa also had 2, while hitting a double. It’s been a slow offensive season for him, but maybe things are turning around.

I should also mention the performance by catcher Jhonny Pereda, who was 2-4 with a walk. He now has a .781 OPS and a 101 wRC+ ... not numbers that will blow you away, but he looks like a competent depth option should the Giants suffer an injury at the position, which happens most seasons.

RHP Tristan Beck made his second AAA start and it went about as poorly as his first, as he gave up 9 baserunners and 5 earned runs in 5.1 innings, albeit with 5 strikeouts. His time in Sacramento has gotten off to an awful start, but he’s still a very exciting prospect, and just getting his feet wet at that level is a great experience.

A nice performance from RHP Corey Oswalt, who retired all 5 batters he faced, 3 by strikeout. And on the other side, the River Cats faced former Giant Sam Selman, who allowed a run.

AA Richmond (16-8)

Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Akron RubberDucks (Guardians) 6-3
Box score

It would seem that right fielder Franklin Labour is mad. On Tuesday he had a hitless day with 4 strikeouts. On Wednesday he had a hitless day with 3 strikeouts. So on Thursday he exacted some revenge ... sure, he still struck out (just once), but he also hit 2 home runs, including a 3-run blast, and led the Flying Squirrels to victory. He now has a .722 OPS and a 101 wRC+.

Still probably wants to work on the 43.4% strikeout rate, though...

Designated hitter Robert Emery was the only other player with multiple hits, as he went 2-4 with a double, raising his OPS to .638 and his wRC+ to 88.

RHP Gray Fenter got the start, and had a performance emblematic of his season: 3 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts. He’s been walking people like it’s going out of style, but also racking up strikeouts and doing a good job preventing runs.

RHP Taylor Rashi struck out 2 in a perfect inning, and has yet to allow a run in 8 appearances this season. In that time he’s pitched 9.2 innings and allowed 7 baserunners with 16 strikeouts.

Low-A San Jose (14-10)

San Jose Giants beat the Stockton Ports (A’s) 8-5
Box score

Ahh, and now we find ourselves with a whole bunch of home runs. This is my favorite part of the show. The Baby Giants have not heard the memo about suppressed home run environments, and hit 4 long balls on Thursday. They also had 13 total hits and 9 walks, so it was overall a very good day in the batter’s box.

Designated hitter Rayner Santana had himself a game, hitting 2-5 with a homer and a double, raising his OPS to .580 and his wRC+ to 48. He has some work to do to start getting mentioned alongside some of the bigger names in the Giants outstanding catcher depth department, but days like Thursday help.

Also a stellar game for first baseman Victor Bericoto, who hit 3-4 with a homer and a walk, raising his OPS to .681 and his wRC+ to 95.

The other two homers came from third baseman Abdiel Layer and center fielder Alexander Suarez (No. 37 CPL), who is starting to find a little rhythm after a brutal start to the year.

LHP Matt Mikulski (No. 14 CPL) had one of his worst starts, giving up 7 hits, 1 walk, and 2 earned runs in 3 innings, with 3 strikeouts. A perfect inning with 3 strikeouts for RHP Julio Rodriguez, who has struggled with run prevention but now has 14 strikeouts in 7.2 innings.

Home runs

AAA Tommy La Stella (1)
AA Franklin Labour, 2 (4)
Low-A Victor Bericoto (3)
Low-A Alexander Suarez (2)
Low-A Abdiel Layer (2)
Low-A Rayner Santana (2)

Friday schedule

Sacramento: vs. Las Vegas Aviators, 6:45 p.m. PT
Richmond: vs. Akron RubberDucks
Eugene: vs. Hillsboro Hops, 7:35 p.m. PT
San Jose: @ Stockton Ports, 7:05 p.m. PT